It was a March evening that Vikram Partap Singh will hold very close to his heart, as he scored his first hat-trick in the Indian Super League, helping Mumbai City FC register a massive 4-1 win against the NorthEast United FC. Along with Vikram, midfielder Yoell Van Nieff was also on the scoresheet, in what was a very entertaining game at the Mumbai Football Arena. The win sends Mumbai City FC to the top of the points table at the end of the night.

Mumbai City FC drew first blood in the second minute itself, as Bipin laid it off for Yoell Van Nieff on the right, who swung in a delightful cross to the unmarked Vikram Partap Singh. The forward, who has been in good nick recently, brought it down masterfully and smashed it home with ease.

From then on in, Mumbai City FC kept pushing their opponents back, and on the 10th minute, doubled their lead, and once again it was Vikram, who slotted it home from close range after Bipin’s left footed pile driver was parried away by Gurmeet.

Along expected lines, NorthEast United FC looked to claw their way back into the game, and Jithin on the right was making a few good runs, but the Islanders’ defensive unit were able to absorb the pressure without breaking into much of a sweat. Just before the first half came to a close, van Nieff had everyone on the edge of their seats with a sublime through ball to Lallianzuala Chhangte, who went past his marker, but wasn’t able to keep it on target. That sensational bit of play was followed up by a late tackle on Akash Mishra by Redeem Tlang, inside the penalty box, and Vvn Nieff very calmly made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time.

It was more of the same in the second half, with the Mumbai City FC side dominating possession, chances and the game in the first 20 minutes after restart. The troika of Chhangte, Bipin and Vikram were causing havoc, as the Islanders were keen on adding to their three goals. Vikram was on the hunt for a hat-trick and even had a couple of chances to add to the tally, but couldn’t apply the finishing touches.

Right after the water break, and very much against the run of play, NorthEast United FC found a lifeline as Jithin nudged it into the back of net. There though was more drama to come shortly after – Chhangte crossed it in from the right and while the comeback man Jorge Pereyra Diaz could not sweep it in, Vikram, who else but him, was on hand to hammer it home to make it 4-1, and also complete his first hat-trick in the competition.

NorthEast United FC threw everything they had at the Mumbai City FC goal, but came out the worse on the night, including a sending off for Parthib Gogoi. The Islanders now go into the international break after having registered a thumping win at home.